Winter and horses is hard enough but the Beast from the East has made it feel like a really long haul. The yearlings have spent most of the Winter out, other than when I took pity on them during the snow. They will certainly be a tough bunch and should be nice and hardy.
All the mares so far have decided that foaling is a bad idea and kept us all awake at night on the longest foal watch ever. Foaling has been challenging and although small in numbers we have had some large challenges to face. It really showed the skills and capabilities of the team. It’s moments like that when you realise how lucky you are to have good people around you.
We have a new member of staff. Maira Ferkdadji, has grown up with horses but has a degree in biochemistry, physiology and neuroscience with a masters in nutrition and food safety. She has worked in quality control in the food industry for seven years. It might seem a strange change of direction but as things expand and grow, to have a Head of Quality Control will be beneficial. She oversees all the work and management that goes on with the horses and keeps us and our standards on our toes!
She is also in charge of putting new systems in place, the first of those being Equicty. Equicity is a horse management software. It logs every moment of the horses life from its exercise regime to when it needs worming and includes photos and videos. Everybody on the yard is armed with the App on their phones and can log in each piece of information as it happens. The aim is to be as efficient and streamlined as possible, creating detailed historical data.
So far we have all of our mares and boarders in foal which is a good start. Every year my stallion deliberations seem to take longer and longer, so long, that I have one mare with nowhere to go! We are still a long way from sending a mare to Frankel but we did have seven boarding mares who were in foal to him so it felt like we were one step closer and we will enjoy following their journeys.
This year we have sent Hanella by Galileo to Starspangledbanner at Coolmore. He is a stallion with some fantastic statistics with 15% black type winners to runners. David’s Duchess is going back to Havana Gold at Tweenhills who also looks like he could hit the dizzy heights of stallion stardom with two listed winners already in the bag for 2018. My new mare King’s Siren is going to visit Hot Streak. She has already produced a black type performer and is a half sister to two black type sprinters. Her dam Blue Siren by Bluebird was disqualified to second in the G1 Nunthorpe Stakes. It made sense to go back to speed and Hot Streak’s sister is a black type performer by Bluebird which shows the nick has had success before. As for poor old Lolamotion, she has yet to be decided.
Last Echo is visiting Ulysees at Cheveley Park Stud. I thought he looked like a fabulous model and just oozed class. He also has a top class middle distance pedigree.
There is lots of debate about breeding only for speed. It is easy to see why people take that route. If you want to make money then you have to follow the market. Markets are inefficient and the bloodstock market is no exception. Whilst it is evident that the pinnacle of success in the flat racing world is to win a Classic, the emphasis from an investment perspective continues to be in the early maturing sprinters. As contrarian investors we have decided not to put all our eggs in the speedy basket!